Friday, March 26, 2010


The Summer Garden Experience is an annual event that takes place at Penn State’s Research Facility in Landisville, just a couple of hours away from here. Here are weekly results and commentary from the 2009 flower trial season.  This year (Saturday, July 31), the featured speaker will be Lee Reich, PhD who worked in agricultural research for Cornell University and the U. S. Department of Agriculture before moving on to writing and consulting. He grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on his farmden (more than a garden, less than a farm), including many uncommon fruits such as pawpaw, hardy kiwifruit, shipova, and medlar. He is the author of several books, including A Northeast Gardener's Year, The Pruning Book, Weedless Gardening, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, and Landscaping with Fruit.

He did a guest blog post recently at the Garden Rant (profiled here) describing what he does, and differentiating it from the relatively new practice, “permaculture”. I thoroughly enjoyed his rant:

I wish I had a catchy name for the kind of farmdening I do. (A farmden is more than a garden, less than a farm; I used to have a garden, now I have a farmden.)

Despite the assertion of one young, “expert” permaculturalist, I am not a permaculturalist. (Perhaps in a futile attempt to strengthen his argument, he went on to say that all gardening/farmdening except commercial agriculture is “permaculture” and that, “as a teacher of permaculture,” he should know!)
Whippersnapper!  Go read the whole thing. I added Dr. Reich’s own blog, In Lee's Garden Now, to the list at the right.

The Summer Garden Experience is Cooperative Extension’s premier horticultural public relations event for the Southeast Region. Master Gardeners from the region, including us in Franklin County, are a major part of it, so mark your calendars, and plan to attend.

(Thanks to Laurie C. for the pictures)

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